A few years ago, it was suggested that there was a “Hathaway Effect”, which is: when the actress Anne Hathaway is prominently portrayed in the news, it could very well increase the price of the shares of the Berkshire Hathaway company owned by Warren Buffett. As it turns out, the most recent wardrobe malfunction of Anne Hathaway could have been part of the reason why Berkshire Hathaway’s stock rose a tremendous 2.4%.
If you haven’t already heard, very recently, Anne Hathaway was photographed on her way out of a limo at the premiere of Les Miserables in New York. What you might not have heard was that she chose not to wear underwear on that day.
Some investors could have made billions of dollars as the mainstream media made this news front page headlines, and Berkshire Hathaway stock shot up from $130,821 per share to close at $134,000 per share on the day of December 12 (when you compare it to the prior four days, in which the price hardly moved, and it actually slipped down by a total of 0.46%).
Of course there will be those people who do not care about the correlation of the rise in stock price and Anne Hathaway’s journey to the front page headlines once again on December 10. But the news didn’t hit the mainstream until late on December 11 in a story in the LA Times that was posted at 4 PM Pacific time, which was much later than the closing bell in New York.
On a more significant note, Anne Hathaway talked about the incident in a weird interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on The Today Show on December 12 in the morning. The New York Post headlines read “Matt Lauer to Anne Hathaway: ‘seen a lot of you lately’”. When Anne decided to openly discuss the incident in a public way, it went from a nothing story on TMZ to being a story where the American media made it a mainstream issue in the blink of an eye.
Then again, there are going to be those people who believe that Berkshire Hathaway’s stock rose to such a high degree because the company announced that they were going to purchase 9200 Class A shares on December 12 from “the estate of a long-time shareholder”. The press release of the stock repurchase came out of the Berkshire Hathaway office in Omaha just a few hours after Anne Hathaway’s today show interview.”
But due to the incident, a few troubling suggestions have been raised, such as: now that the Hathaway Effect has been looked upon and acknowledged as a byproduct of the algorithmic robotic trading by such important places like the Financial Times, CNBC, Atlantic Monthly, Time magazine and economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, as well as Berkshire Hathaway, the next question we need to answer is how can this be manipulated? I’m not saying that there should be nefarious motives or a full-scale New York Stock Exchange investigation inspired by Elizabeth Warren, or Vaginagate for that matter, but…
Anne Hathaway is a very smart and talented actress, and she’s no Britney Spears. She also sang live when filming Les Miz and could potentially win an Oscar for the role. She’s an excellent dresser, and Joan Rivers even approves or her wardrobe from time to time.
If you saw The Devil Wears Prada, then you know that Meryl Streep taught her a thing or two. What I’m trying to say is that this isn’t some bumbling panty deprived Lindsay Lohan. Do you think it’s possible that somebody she cares about, a potential blackmailer, or even herself, might own shares of Berkshire Hathaway? Do you think she was trying to manipulate the price?
Or do you think Warren Buffett and his people decided to mention the news of the stock buyback on the same day (basically during the same hour) as Hathaway’s controversial appearance on The Today Show?
At the time of the buyback announcement, it was widely looked upon as something very mysterious. Some even speculated upon the death of billionaire Berkshire Hathaway investor Albert Ueltschi. And for the love of God Matt Lauer – who’s normally the perfect representation of all things sensible – makes it a point to discuss Anne Hathaway’s private parts on a morning news show on network television? Is Today trying to be the next TMZ? Could Matt Lauer own stock in Berkshire Hathaway? Or is the man into pretty actresses and he doesn’t have anything to hide?
I really don’t know for certain. But anyone growing up in Omaha would know that took Latin class at Central High School, it’s “semper ubi sububi” which roughly translates into “always wear underwear”.
What you think about the Hathaway Effect? Is there any truth to the rumors?